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Volume 16
The Hope College Newsletter
Fall 2007

~IN THIS ISSUE~

French Cultural Events Educate and Inspire

Business Managers in West Michigan Companies

Guests Fabienne Munch of Herman Miller and Loick Griselain of Johnson Controls spoke on the topic, "How to be a French Business Manager in an American Company in the US? The Views of Two West Michigan French Business Managers". French student Danielle Bossley ('10) reflected, "This presentation was very interesting for me to see what I could do with double majors in French and business. This also made me aware of the increasing reliance our countries all have on one another, and the importance of being culturally diverse in order to succeed in business."

Peace Corps in Africa

Brandon Guernsey, a 2003 Hope graduate, spent time in the Peace Corps after obtaining his degree in French and International Studies. He gave a presentation entitled, “To Mauritania and Back: My Adventures in French Africa with the Peace Corps”. After hearing from Brandon, Emily Budge (‘09) was convinced that, “Clearly, French majors provide people with a great deal of opportunities, and knowing a second language is very
beneficial.”

French Student Researchers Take the Spotlight

French students made their presence known at the Sixth Annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance (2006) on January 29, 2007. Mentored by the French professors, the students presented their work on the following topics:

Kathryn Coulter
Anny Duperey: Photographs and Memory
Rachel Rees
Albert Camus: His Philosophy and Christianity
Kyle Smith
An Autobiographical Account in Pictures: “Le Photographe” from Emmanuel Guibert and Didier Lefevre
Allison Hawkins and
Amy Speelman

Cubism: The Beginnings of Modern Art
Laura Kay Stritzke
Immigration in France
Elizabeth Brichacek
Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun: The Female Court Artist as a Symbol of Artistic Feminism
Stélios C. Alvarez
“ Is an Autobiography Complemented by a Biographical Study? ‘Les Mots’ by Sartre and ‘Sartre’ by Annie Cohen-Solal.”
George Philip Khoury
Albert Camus and the Algerian War of Independence

Kathryn Coulter: The photographs of Anny Duperey's life before the age of 8, before her parents died in a tragic accident, greatly aided her both as an author and in her emotional recovery.

Kyle Smith: An exploration of a new medium of autobiography based on photography.

George Philip Khoury: Albert Camus was torn between his allegiance to France and to Algeria, his native land, when the Algerian War of Independence broke out, but still sought justice over discrimination.

Rachel Rees: Camus was a humanist, valuing happiness, compassion, friendship, love, justice and the right to live. However, his life was a struggle to understand existence and Christianity.

Elizabeth Brichacek: Being a female artist in 18th century Europe was an incredibly difficult career choice. However, despite the social restrictions women suffered, one artist, Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, rose above the rest.

Allison Hawkins and Amy Speelman: Not only did the Cubist movement in Paris in the early twentieth century change the look of art, but it also transformed the concept of what art is and what its purpose should be.

Stélios C. Alvarez: Why be interested in a biography when an autobiography has already been written? Each give, in their own ways, a fuller picture of the subject's life story.

Laura Kay Stritzke: Immigration is one of the premiere issues facing French society today, but is the result of a century of colonization by the French. However, there are some possible solutions that could insure future peace and stability.

Globetrotters of the French Section

Spring 2006
Beckerman, Holly- SIT Toulouse
Blauw, Rebeca- IES Nantes
Coen, Elizabeth- IES Paris
Coulter, Kathryn- SIT Mali
Flystra, Margaret- IES Nantes
Hawkinson, Erin- IES Nantes
Hill, Joshua- SIT Morocco
Simons, Neil- SIT Toulouse
Fall 2006
Birkenholz, Jennifer- IES Nantes
Bombard, Rebecca- IES Paris
Carpenter, Brianne- SIT Cameroon
Cummings, Joshua- IES Paris
Haas, Jennifer- CIEE Rennes
Jansma, Alexa- IES Nantes
March, Claire- IES Nantes
March, Lauren- IES Nantes
Murray, Katherine- IES Nantes
Moore, Lissa- CIEE Rennes
Neal, Thea- CIEE Dakar
Rees, Rachel- CIEE Rennes
Whaley, Erin- IES Paris
Spring 2007
Carpenter, Brianne- IES Nantes
Guernsey, Ashlea- CIEE Rennes
Hawkins, Allison- IES Paris
Jansma, Alexa- IES Nantes
Luidens, Karen- CIEE Rennes
March, Claire- IES Nantes
Oglesby, Erika- CIEE Rennes
Sparks, Lauren- IES Paris

Honors and Awards


Elizabeth Coen

Left to Right: Kathryn Coulter, Margaret Flystra, Elizabeth Brichacek, Kyle Smith

French senior Majors and Minors were honored with many awards this year from the varied fields in which they have studied. Kyle Smith, Elizabeth Brichacek, Elizabeth Coen, Margaret Flystra, Thea Neal, Karl Hoesch, Anna West and Kathryn Coulter were elected to the national Honorary Society Phi Beta Kappa.

The Linda D. Palmer Memorial Award in French was given to seniors Margaret Fylstra, Renee Mantua and Kyle Smith. Renee Mantua also received the American Association of Teachers of French Outstanding Senior in French Award. The Marguerite Prins French Award was bestowed upon Elizabeth Brichacek and Elizabeth Coen. Margaret Flystra was also awarded the Allan C. Kinney Memorial Award from the Economics and Business Administration department; Elizabeth Brichacek the Kathleen White '76 Memorial Award and the National Association of Sport and Physical Education Outstanding Major of the Year Award in exercise science from the Kinesiology department; Elizabeth Coen the Biblical Studies Award from the Religion department; Joshua Cummings the DeLong Senior Dance Award for Outstanding Outstanding Achievement in Dance; Holly Nestle the William and Mable Vanderbilt Sr. Family Award from the Kinesiology department; Thea Neal the James Dyke van Putten Political Science Prize; Danielle Revers the Verhey Award for Excellence in Scholarship; Anna West the Senior Sigma Xi Research Award in Psychology; Jennifer VanderMeer the John Shouten Award; and Annika Carlson the Political Science Department Book Award. The French Department is proud to see its hard working students recognized!

“Le Spectacle Français”

(Hollywood, watch out!)

2007 saw the third annual “spectacle français”, which involved over 60 students of French. Entertainment was the theme of the night as audience members packed the DeWitt Studio Theater for "Télé Varieté(s)". Professor Isabelle Chapuis-Alvarez orchestrated the line-up of charismatic skits, songs, dances, and even commercials for the third year in a row!

A few of the highlights included a talent competition, "A la recherche de la Nouvelle Star", during which students showed off their singing or lip syncing skills, musical ability and dance moves. Popular American culture was taken overseas during a clip from an episode of Friends and a performance of the theme song from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, both translated into French. Stélios C. Alvarez entertained with the sketch "Le Tour de France des accents", impeccably showcasing different accents from different regions in France while providing many laughs. Overall, the Spectacle was a grand succès!

The 2007 AATF Outstanding Senior French Award


Left to right above: Prof. Anne Larsen, Prof. Isabelle Chapuis-Alvarez, Renee Mantua, and Prof. Brigitte Hamon-Porter.

The American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) Outstanding Senior French Award is given to one student per college per year who has maintained an "A" average in French and has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the study of French. This nationally recognized honor was given at Hope in 2007 to Renee Mantua. Renee's studies at Hope led her to Washington DC, where she participated in the Washington DC Honors Semester in the spring of 2007. Renee had the following thoughts to share about French, politics, and surprises.

"As a French/Management major at Hope and a future law school hopeful, I took the opportunity to join Hope's program in Washington, DC. I anticipated that my language skills would not come in handy during my internship at Congressman Pete Hoekstra's office. For some of my experiences, that was the case. For others, I had made a huge mistake. At Hope, I was occasionally thrown into French politics. Arriving in Washington, DC, I felt that I understood French politics better than my own country's politics. This understanding did not go unappreciated. Having learned the basics of French politics, I was encouraged to learn more about American politics, and I consequently drew some major conclusions of their differences and similarities. My understanding of a foreign nation helped to enrich and strengthen the experience I had with America's legislative branch.

Overall, I think it is important to note that study in a foreign language does not mean you have to use the language all the time. What has been so important for me is my ability to understand the world on a global level and understand other cultures. While I am sure the language will come in handy from time to time, the French culture has already helped me in my educational pursuits more than I would have expected.”

Learning from Art

''Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde'' at the Art Institute of Chicago drew a crowd that included many of Hope's French students, as the department hosted a field trip to view the works of several French artists. Amy Speelman ('09) was among this group, and wrote the following reaction to what she learned.

Ambroise Vollard (1866-1939): Mécène de l'Avant-garde

Ambroise Vollard, 1899, Paul Cézanne (French, 1839-1906)

London: St. Paul’s Cathedral seen from the Thames, 1906, André Derain (French, 1880-1954)

Dancers at the Barre, ca. 1900-1905, Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917)

Fishing in Spring, The Pont de Clichy (Asnières), 1887, Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)

Ambroise Vollard a acheté les œuvres de plusieurs artistes importants vers la fin du 19e siècle et le début du 20e siècle et donc était l'un des plus importants mécènes de l'époque. Parmi ces artistes figuraient Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Pierre Bonnard, et Pablo Picasso. Vollard voyait loin dans la carrière de ces artistes, bien qu'ils n'aient pas été appréciés par la plupart des critiques ou marchands d'art à leur époque. qui m'a beaucoup frappé est comment Vollard était plus qu'un mécène : il a non seulement soutenu les artistes en achetant leurs tableaux, mais il les a aussi encouragés à explorer d'autres techniques d'art, comme la lithographie, la sculpture, et la céramique. outre, Vollard était un imprimeur, créant des livres dans beaucoup de genres différents allant d'histoires bibliques à celles qui étaient parmi les plus choquantes de l'époque.

Cependant, on peut voir également des aspects négatifs chez Vollard dans l'exposition. C'était un homme d'affaires très habile; plusieurs fois j'ai vu qu'il avait payé très peu pour une peinture qu'il revendait peu après pour deux ou trois fois plus qu'il avait payé. Il énervait des artistes comme Gauguin en refusant d'acheter ou en payant très peu pour leurs tableaux favoris. De plus, j'ai remarqué qu'il ne soutenait pas l'art le plus révolutionnaire, préférant les œuvres qui pouvaient lui garantir un profit. (Ceci est le plus prononcé avec Gauguin et Picasso pendant les années cubistes). C'était profitable pour Vollard en tant qu'homme d'affaires, mais pour les artistes, c'était difficile parce qu'ils voulaient explorer les nouvelles frontières de l'art mais ils devaient souvent se limiter pour pouvoir vendre leur art.

Quoi qu'il en soit, on peut voir la raison pour laquelle Ambroise Vollard est si important pour l'art post-impressionniste: il a vu loin et il a acheté les tableaux que rejetaient les autres mécènes et marchands d'art et il a pu ainsi promouvoir l'évolution de l'art moderne.

-Amy Speelman ('09)

The Two Saltimbanques (Harlequin and his Companion), 1901, Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)

Three Tahitian Women, 1899, Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903)


The Napoleonic Legend

Julie Meyers ('99), who is completing her PhD in French 19th century literature at the University of Chicago, returned to her alma mater to shed some light on the myths that have swirled around Napoleon Bonaparte for two centuries in a talk dubbed "Deflating the Legend: Michelet's Portrayal of Napoleon". Mike Bertrand ('10) found Meyers' "critical view... insightful and interesting", and summarized the presentation as follows: "Julie Meyers pointed out the absence of truth in many of the popular artistic renderings of Napoleon while simultaneously revealing a darker and arguably more truthful side to the Napoleonic persona. After an analysis of his influence on French society, she spoke on reasons why Jules Michelet's originally favorable opinion of Napoleon became scathing as time went on and particularly as Louis Napoleon, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, destroyed the republic created from the dream of the revolution." On the topic of the revolution, Evan Dawson ('10) found it noteworthy that, in Michelet's own words, "the last hero was not Napoleon, it was the revolution".

Tasting the Empire

Students mouths watered as the wheels in their heads turned during a speech called "Tasting the Empire: Food at the Paris Colonial Exposition of 1931" by Lauren Hinkle Janes ('04), who is now pursuing a PhD in Modern European History at UCLA. Elizabeth Brichacek ('07) admitted, "I didn't realize that during this time period, European powers such as France created these elaborate expositions to display their influence and control throughout the world", and also remarked, "It is interesting to think of food as a means of connecting to another culture, but France used food during their exposition to convince the French people that colonization was actually a worthwhile endeavor". Lauren Eriks ('08) responded to the new information she learned by saying, "Overflowing displays of produce, cornucopias of mangoes and kiwis, or mock-ups of endless wheat fields: fruitfulness is a powerful subconscious, economic message. Add in an exotic flair- in the perfumes, décor, and Caribbean beauties- and some of the French visitors could no doubt be made to feel that they received goods through the workings of colonialism that could not be obtained through any other means".

Tout bon repas doit commencer par la faim!

Poem by Sarah Williams, ‘09, French/ Accounting/ Dance

Une femme se réveillait chaque matin de bonne heure
Et se promenait en essayant de trouver le bonheur.
Le long des rues elle marchait de ci de là
Et cherchait les ingrédients parfaits pour un bon repas.

Elle achetait des oeufs plus blancs que la neige
Et du lait frais d'une vache nommée Nadège.
Elle trouvait de la farine de première qualité,
Un peu de sel, un peu de sucre, quelle bonne idée!

Une fois chez elle, la femme a battu et emulsionné
Le mélange jaune pour qu’il soit prêt à déguster.
Le four était chaud et la pâte fine.
Si le ciel a une odeur, c’est celui de cette cuisine.

La première est tombée par terre – c’est terrible!
La seconde s’est collée au plafond – ce truc est impossible!
Puis, les crêpes volèrent comme de grands oiseaux.
Elles étaient rondes et blondes et c’était vraiment beau.
Maintenant pour la fin, la pièce de résistance
Et il faut ajouter beaucoup de chocolat, quelle chance!
Avec un peu de sucre et des petits morceaux de citron
Ou même avec de la confiture, ça sera toujours bon.

Dans les pays francophones, les repas sont des merveilles
Que ce soit le couscous ou les crêpes brillantes comme des soleils.
Ce qui est important c’est le temps et le soin apporté
Pour créer ces chefs-d'œuvre culinaires par tous appréciés.

Alors, célébrez avec votre famille et vos amis
Avec du bon pain, des sauces, et pourquoi pas un peu de riz?
Si vous savez apprécier chaque goût, c'est fantastique
Car vous allez adorer cette symphonie gastronomique!

La Photo

Poem by Rachel Maurer, ‘09, French Major

Cette photo me rappelle quelqu’un
Pourtant, je n’ai jamais rencontré cet individu
Son visage est hâlé et ses cheveux bruns
Je ne sais pas ou je l’ai déjà vu

Ses vêtements sont pour le moins différents
Avec ces couleurs chatoyantes et ces motifs changeants
Ses pieds sont nus et poussiéreux
Il n’a pas de chaussures mais a pourtant l’air heureux

Ses cheveux sont très noirs
Et peignés d’une manière difficile à croire
Sa culture est différente
Et je ne la connais pas, ça c’est sûr

J’imagine qu’il est étranger
Et que je ne pourrai pas le comprendre
Mais sa langue, pas besoin de l’apprendre
Car il parle… français!

Alors je remarque ses grands yeux
Et son beau regard à la fois triste et sérieux
Nous avons l’air si différent mais je viens de réaliser
Que nous ne le sommes pas tant, car tous deux nous parlons français.

French Section News and Events

Isabelle Chapuis-Alvarez, Assistant Professor of French, organized and chaired the session on Topics in Literature titled "Écritures de soi de l'aube du XXème siècle à nos jours" ("Life Writings from the 20th Century until today") at the annual conference of the Michigan Academy of Arts, Science and Letters held at Ferris State University during which three students gave presentations. Senior Kyle Smith of Grand Rapids presented "Le récit de vie en images: le Photographe d'Emmanuel Guibert et Didier Lefèvre" ("An Autobiographical Account in Pictures: Le Photographe by Emmanuel Guibert and Didier Lefèvre"). Senior Elizabeth Coen of Deerfield, Ill., presented "Le processus du deuil dans Le Livre de ma mère d'Albert Cohen" ("The mourning process in Le Livre de ma mère by Albert Cohen"). Junior Stélios C. Alvarez of Grand Rapids presented "La lecture d'une autobiographie gagne-t-elle être complétée par celle d'une biographie ?: Les mots de Sartre et Sartre d'Annie Cohen-Solal" ("Is an Autobiography Complemented by a Biographical Study? 'Les Mots' by Sartre and 'Sartre' by Annie Cohen-Solal"). Isabelle Chapuis-Alvarez also made a presentation entitled "Liberté, Inégalité, Fraternité: état des lieux de la condition des femmes à l'aube du XXIème siècle en France" ("Freedom, Inequality, Fraternity: the women's situation in the 21st Century France") during the session on Culture and Pedagogy.

French Faculty Activity

Isabelle Chapuis-Alvarez presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters. She served as a member of the Marker Response Selection Conference for the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC). While in France during summer vacation, she visited friends and family in the Loire Valley, where she had Sunday lunch with three generations of Native Assistants: former assistants Julie Ouvrard and Fiona Eraud and future assistant Sarah Menechau. She also visited Corsica, enjoyed “les soldes” and “the cafés” in Paris and visited new places with her children.

Brigitte Hamon-Porter presented in May a paper entitled «Identité plurielle dans Les eaux mortes du Mékong de Kim Lefèvre» at the Cincinnati Conference on Romance Languages and Literatures. She also wrote several book reviews and is working on an article on three Polynesian authors. She taught an online French 101 course in May, a challenging but rewarding experience.

Anne Larsen co-edited the Encyclopedia of Women in the Renaissance. Italy, France, and England (Santa Barbara, CA. and Oxford, 2007). She was elected to the executive counsel of the Sixteenth-Century Studies Society for a three year term and is the co-editor of Arts and Humanities for The Michigan Academician.

Where are the '06 Hope French Majors a Year Later?

Daniela Banu is pursuing her PhD in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Courtney Clum is currently attending the University of Michigan where she is getting her Masters Degree in Structural Engineering. For the summer she has a job at SmithGroup, an architectural engineering firm in Detroit.

Elise Edwards has a job with the State Department as a Foreign Service Office Management Specialist, where she provides administrative support for the office in the Embassy where she is assigned. This currently puts her in the Regional Security Office at the American Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Kathleen Ludewig is living in Chicago, working as an analyst for a consulting firm called Accenture and has become a member of the "Alliance Française" in Chicago.

Sarah Quesada Lubbers spent the last 8 months working for the French government as an English Assistant in a high school in very hot and exotic Cayenne in French Guiana. She then headed to Loja, Ecuador, up in the Andes mountains, to help out with English and dance in an elementary school.

Sarah Reese is attending graduate school for Physical Therapy at Grand Valley State University.

Kyle Williams spent September 2006 through May 2007 in Loja, Ecuador teaching math (in Spanish) to kindergarten through 5th grade students at the Centro Educativo Amauta. During that time, he lived with an Ecuadorian family, perfecting his Spanish, and truly experiencing modern Ecuadorian culture through conversation, cuisine, and travel.

The French Newsletter is published by the French section funded through the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. If you would like to be included in the next issue of the French Newsletter, please contact Anne Larsen at alarsen@hope.edu. Thanks to Holly Johnson ('10) for her work on transcription, layout and design for this issue and to all who submitted articles to the French Newsletter 2007! Thanks to Stélios C. Alvarez for adapting the printed version of the French Newsletter to the web.